The conversation geared towards her favourite dish , which she revealed as Pilau or Pilaf rice, as I sipped on my hot cup of tea. A colleague at work(from Uganda),engaged me in a conversation of the varied African dishes. The very next day, she brought me a special bark that was used in making the Uganda Pilau rice. Sadly she couldn’t tell me the English name. The bark had a sweet and Cinnamon scented smell, which I aptly named ‘The African Cinnamon’.
This conversation had me intrigued and I started to investigate the dish. The origins of Pilau or Pilaf is controversial since the Middle East lays claims to it and so do the Indians.
Pilau or Pilaf is basically rice cooked in a spiced broth.
Pilau or Pilaf rice was introduced to the Eastern Part of Africa by the Indians and enjoyed in most households.
Whenever you have any stock left after steaming your Meat or Chicken, add some rice and voila you have your Pilau rice.
After my research, I decided to create my own version of the dish, subject to the ingredients I had available.
As I carefully chose my alternative ingredients, based on the similarities in flavours, I knew I had to name the West African Pilau rice, due to their origin.
Most of the spices used for this recipe are readily available in most West African countries, African shops and online.
Watch how I made this on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa'.
400g of long grain or Basmati rice
1kg of diced Lamb, Mutton, Goat Meat or Chicken
1 large Onion
30g of Tomato paste
4 tablespoonful of dark soy sauce or Tamarind paste
250ml of Water
Salt to taste
30g of peeled Ginger
1 large Onion
1 levelled tablespoon of Aniseed
1 Habanero chilli
10 Grains of Selim pods
Half a teaspoon of grated Nutmeg
3 pods of African Nutmeg
10 Clove pieces
Chopped Green Chillies or Jalapeños
Chopped Spring Onions or Coriander